We, the shotgun trigger cast

from the colossal, kindred vat,


without aiming eye or contracting hand,

still as fish under the ice ceiling


of a lake, wait and watch

the surrounding charged and frozen


for the impressed print warmer

than the air around, streamer


of scent tethering snout to tongue,

mouth to gut for the chase and bolt,


the familiar arc rushing a frantic

weave crosshatching, the capture


bleeding, the reach and seize

and glancing tears, hide splitting


into red, into the exhausted warm,

wet limb-by-limb


collapse, the blood and the shrieks

or the blood and the silence,


and we, less different, less individual

than same as the flight fades


into tattered flags of rough breath, rough

heart and torso beating the body


stilled, emptied, abandoned—a vessel

to be remade into the sizes and shapes


of the bodies describing the earth we ran

to ground, bloodied and spent.





Maggie Queeney holds MFA in Creative Writing from Syracuse University. Her work has appeared most recently in the Southern Poetry Review, The Southeast Review, and Handsome.

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